What is Mr. Higa wearing?
Is it the latest fashion craze from Italy?
Is he showing off his latest red Gumby costume?
Is it the latest Daft Punk dance crew clothing line?
Is it a workout suit that he ordered on-line and is 10 sizes too large?
Mr. Higa is trying on a thermal suit that helps retain body heat. This suit can help to prevent hypothermia or treat victims of hypothermia. When you see Mr. Higa, ask him how well did the suit work to retain his body core temperature.
Hypothermia occurs when body core temperature lowers below 95°F/35°C. The onset of hypothermia can be subtle and creep up on you. Hypothermia does NOT require temperatures below freezing to occur, in fact more people die of hypothermia in the summer than in the winter!
As tissues cool, their cells don't work properly: The brain and nerves work more slowly, muscles contract with more difficulty and may cramp more easily, and the heart becomes prone to irregular beats.
As core temperature drops, the body will divert warm blood into the core of the body (the head and trunk), allowing the arms and legs (extremities) to become even colder.
Symptoms of Hypothermia:
• Mild symptoms include shivering, blue extremities, numbness, tingling, and blotchy skin.
• Severe symptoms include decreased coordination (core temperatures below 92°F/33.5°C), muscle rigidity, slow breathing, and slow or irregular pulse (the heart can be irregular below 90°F/32°C, and below 82°F/28°C, heart rate decreases by 50%). This can progress to dilated and fixed pupils, absent reflexes, and cardiac arrest and death below 77°F/25°C.
Treatment of Hypothermia:
• Dry the victim and cover with blankets.
• Shelter the victim from wind and water.
• Provide heat to the neck, underarms, and groin. Heat only the trunk initially to avoid core temperature after-drop. After-drop occurs in this manner: Extremities cool faster than the trunk. If you re-warm the extremities, their colder blood will re-enter the circulation and actually worsen hypothermia temporarily.
• Keep the victim lying down.
• Administer warm fluids only after the victim stops shivering (loss of the shivering reflex signifies significant hypothermia).
• Avoid moving/jarring the victim suddenly because this may trigger an abnormal heart rhythm.
• CPR may be necessary. Resuscitation should not be stopped until the person's body temperature is at least 95°F/35°C (never give up: one reported victim recovered in a morgue). All temperatures indicated are rectal measures, which give a closer indication of core temperature. If the victim is cooperative, you may take temperature by mouth or other method.
A Scout is Prepared.
Your First Aid skills may save a life one day.